Paggles and Step Six
My name is Jim and I'm a recovering alcoholic through the teachings of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Twelve Step programme and good sponsorship. I came back to Alcoholics Anonymous in 1994 and have stayed ever since. I say came back, I had previously attended one meeting in 1989 at the insistence of my then employer. I had just previously attempted to take my own life with paracetamol and alcohol along with other prescribed medication. I must, at some point, have agreed to attend an AA meeting as two members of the Fellowship came to my door the following Wednesday after I'd signed myself out of hospital and continued drinking. I was under the influence of alcohol when I went to that meeting in Biggar and the only thing I chose to hear was God being mentioned; I immediately assumed it was a cult and that I wasnâ??t going back. As a result of not attending further meetings, I was to lose my job, the house that went with it and custody of my two girls.
When I finally got sober, and stayed sober, my daughters wanted to return to the family home. When they were removed, they were nine and ten year-olds and when they returned they were teenagers. My youngest was fascinated with how I got sober and would lose herself in all my recovery books and keep asking questions on recovery matters. In those early years after they returned, I often had to take my girls to meetings with me as I had no child-minding services at times. During this phase, I'd just done my fourth and fifth Steps with my sponsor. My daughter was ever asking me where I was in the Programme; when I said that I was moving onto Step Six, she brought over my Twelve and Twelve and turned to page 67. She then looked in her school dictionary and proudly ventured, "Dad, I know what your defects of character are!" I tentatively asked her what she thought they were and she pointed to her school dictionary and intoned, "Paggles - Pride, Anger, Greed, Gluttony, Lust, Envy and Sloth. The seven deadly sins, see in your book and my dictionary it lists them as your problems."
That new word has stayed with me ever since and, she was right, in some measure these are my defects of character that I have to address and contain in equal measure. Today I review my Paggles on a daily basis and make sure my recovery is on track.